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5 Proptech Platforms Revamping Real Estate in Panama

Contxto – Foreign investment in Panamanian real estate is rising. However, the distance between owners and the properties themselves is a key pain point. In that sense, startups in this Central American country are emerging to push for greater visibility and management of cozy homes and elegant apartments no matter where you are.

Prime-Ex Perpetual

Active on Twitter and Facebook, Prime-Ex Perpetual leverages blockchain technology in improving home improvement matters. Everything from building, to selling, to borrowing funds to purchase a home are all a part of its network. According to the startup, it hopes to disrupt the real estate industry with its technology.


This virtual real estate portal combines social media as well as real estate listings over one streamlined network in Panama. On one hand, “runners” use the CMS (Content Management System) platform to sell or rent properties over the app. Users can leave reviews about these listings, which in the process provides a referral system for providers.

Conversely, renters or homebuyers use GoGetIt to find some of the sleekest properties in Panama. Some of these include Panama City, the mountainside, beaches, as well as other destinations. According to its website, the algorithm can generate statistics of the average price per square meter for properties.


Real estate professionals collaborate with Hauzd to create 3D renderings of buildings. Based on the SaaS technology, users can increase the likelihood of sales with developers and brokers by dynamically depicting 3D floor plans.

Once the presentation is ready, all you need to do is upload it to the Hauzd Cloud. This way, no matter where you are, it will be waiting for you to show over any platform. On the plus side, they are also easily embeddable and no previous developer experience is necessary to use the technology.


Kind of like a jack of all trades, Encuentra24 provides users with a marketplace not just for real estate, but also cars, jobs, electrics, hotels, as well as other classifieds. Being a great resource for buyers, it’s also useful for e-merchant and anybody wanting to launch a virtual business.

K&B Real Estate
This platform handles properties on behalf of its owners. Among its services there’s maintenance, publicity, and relationship management. It also garners greater visibility by offering 3D tours of residencies. Moreover, homeowners can consult the status of their property online at any time.

Is The Future Of Real Estate In The Hands (And Habits) Of Millennials

Is The Future Of Real Estate In The Hands (And Habits) Of Millennials?

We’ve all seen studies on millennials circulating around the internet. As the largest group of consumers, everybody wants to predict their shopping habits, eating habits, work habits and travel habits. They have been accused of job-hopping and having short attention spans; but on the other hand, they are known to appreciate a sense of purpose, community and worthy causes. One thing is certain: They have a significant impact on the economy and drive disruption of several industries. Among many things, I believe their generational habits will impact the future of the real estate industry.

What Got Me Thinking

I started pondering this question after meeting with an investor who was chatting about his kids (you guessed it — they’re millennials) and their lack of desire to commit to the ownership of pretty much anything, including a car or apartment, in favor of wholeheartedly dedicating themselves to the intangible, such as learning new skills, travel and experiences.

Data supports this: “NOwnership” is common among this group, with only 48% believing that buying a home is a good investment, mainly because of lack of affordability. This, when coupled with the fact that American millennials prioritize experiences over products, means you have a recipe for a rent-heavy generation with fewer strings attached.

I’m not surprised. In my former role as COO of Fiverr, I saw firsthand how the sharing economy — perhaps better referred to as the experience economy — impacted younger generations when it came to lifestyle and was the catalyst to redefining how one can work and live. Now as COO of a short-term property management platform, I think daily about how this generation’s habits have come to life in the travel space, mainly taking shape in their keenness to “work from anywhere,” combine work and travel as “digital nomads” and opt for short-term rental stays over the traditional hotel stay to immerse themselves in local experiences.

How ‘Experiences Over Things’ Will Translate To Real Estate’s Future

These aforementioned habits suggest that real estate developers focused on traditional residential buildings and long-term leases should think twice about keeping operations business as usual.

The math is simple: The majority of millennials don’t want to buy property + they don’t want to commit to one location + short-term lets have the potential to yield much greater profits than long-term leases = property owners should dedicate a portion of inventory to short- and mid-term rentals to maintain a sustainable business model and mitigate risk. In doing so, developers will be able to leverage students, nomads and, frankly, any commitment-phobe who still needs a roof over their head, albeit for a shorter period of time than their baby boomer parents.

To prepare for millennials’ increasing spending power and “NOwnership” ways, my suggestion after witnessing the success of property management superbrands such as Lyric, Sonder and Domio (a Guesty user) is to focus new builds on multifamily. This means committing units for long-term and mid-term residential use with options for three-month, six-month and traditional one-year leases, while at the same time dedicating a portion of units to short-term stays to yield a higher profit than your traditional listings — while simultaneously diversifying your investment portfolio.

The Right Focus And The Right Buyers

At this point, we can’t ignore that real estate is being disrupted by the sharing and experience economies. In order to accommodate the shift, developers must build according to these trends and agents must communicate to buyers that short-term lets may result in higher revenue streams.


Source: Forbes

The Chicago real estate market is even worse than Hong Kong's, new data shows

The Chicago real estate market is even worse than Hong Kong’s, new data shows

Chicago’s commercial real estate posted the worst performance of all major metropolitan areas over the past year, The Wall Street Journal reported, even falling behind protest-stricken Hong Kong’s property market.

The prices of office buildings, retailers, hotels, and apartments in Chicago fell 4.1% in the last year, according to Real Capital Analytics data cited by The Journal. The total commercial real estate sales in Cook County, which includes Chicago, sank by 42% this year. Sales also slowed in surrounding counties, including those near the Illinois-Indiana border.

Hong Kong’s commercial real estate market tumbled 2.6% through the year as antigovernment demonstrations dragged the city into its first recession in a decade .

Residential buildings didn’t fare much better in Chicago. The Second City’s housing prices grew 1.5% from the third quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019,according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The national average jumped 4.9% in the same period.

A combination of tax-hike fears and worse-than-expected growth weighed on Chicago’s properties through 2019. The number of job postings in the city fell 0.5% in November compared to the year-ago period, according to Glassdoor data cited by The Journal, below the national average of 1% growth.

The city has also struggled to pull in new companies, sitting between coastal giants like San Francisco or New York and expanding mid-sized cities like Nashville, Tennessee and Austin, Texas.

Chicago already hosts the second-highest residential property taxes in the nation, but rates could surge even higher, according to research firm Green Street Advisors. A new property valuation method used by the city’s tax assessor is raising uncertainty among business owners around how rates will change. Chicago is also looking for ways to pay off massive pension debts, but the firm previously warned that tax increases could drive workers away from the city.

“The primary reason that Chicago is struggling from an investment-sales perspective is the outlook of higher taxes in the future,” Green Street managing director Dave Bragg told The Journal.

Trump Impeachment Proceedings

Will Impeachment Proceedings Impact The Real Estate Market?

If recent news regarding the impeachment of President Donald Trump has left you uncertain about what to do when it comes to your real estate investment portfolio, you’re certainly not alone. With new updates rolling out by the minute, keeping up with the latest news can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, most analysts that I hear from suspect that the current proceedings will have little impact on the housing market.

Although political pundits enjoy following the drama of the impeachment proceedings, I’ve seen that investors as a whole have treated it largely as a non-issue. Although the possibility of impeachment could introduce uncertainty into the market, volatility has typified the market for much of the last several years. We aren’t really dealing with anything new as far as market forces are concerned.

Historically, impeachment proceedings have had little lasting impact on the economy. Although Nixon’s impeachment proceedings happened during an economic recession, that recession was driven by both inflation and a shock to oil prices in 1973. The impeachment itself brought no noticeable change to the economy.

During President Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings in 1998, stocks initially plummeted then recovered. Ultimately, the economy experienced significant gains during President Clinton’s impeachment, as new internet and tech companies made substantial headway in the markets.

When it comes to the current investigation, other factors appear to drive the real estate market more than the drama unfolding in Washington, D.C. Although economic uncertainty can impact the real estate and housing markets, in my opinion, impeachment proceedings are not likely to have any negative impact. Simply put, consumers’ confidence to spend primarily drives the markets, and impeachment proceedings are unlikely to create enough economic uncertainty to impact that negatively.

Consumer confidence when buying real estate is strong right now as interest rates remain low. In my business, for example, we currently have no problem liquidating investment properties to those looking to flip them for a profit. These investors are confident that with interest rates this low, they will have no problem reselling these investment properties.

All the most recent evidence backs this up. In August, new home sales nationally increased by 7.1%. Although August predates the most current political events, a decline in mortgage rates over the summer drove an increase in new home construction, leading to more homes sold in August. Historically low mortgage rates typify the current market, with 30-year mortgages likely to remain low for the rest of the year. Although President Trump might be experiencing some political challenges, low mortgage rates continue to fuel a strong housing market.

As it stands, I believe the impeachment proceeding is unlikely to influence the housing market negatively. However, if some major changes unfold, then the situation could change in different ways. Consider the worst-case scenario for President Trump: removal from office. Even in that event, we would likely see little impact to the economy. If President Trump were removed from office, Vice President Mike Pence would take office, and it is unlikely he would make substantial changes to the current administration’s economic policies.

What remains to be seen is the impact these proceedings will have on the 2020 presidential election. If impeachment proceedings lead voters to choose a replacement rather than reelect President Trump in 2020, then we could expect significant changes in economic policy. The impact that would have on real estate remains unforeseen.

Of course, other economic factors dictated by the president do impact the housing market. Most notably, the ongoing trade war with China could produce economic uncertainty, leading to downstream issues in the housing market. The most recent wave of tariffs resulted in additional taxes on the importation of nearly all Chinese goods, including housing construction goods. This situation should receive more attention from real estate investors than the latest round of impeachment wrangling in Congress. The cost of construction on our houses has significantly increased over the last year or two. The biggest challenge we currently have in our business is finding contractors to get our jobs done at an affordable price for our investors.

To sum up, don’t worry so much about the impeachment hearings, at least as it pertains to the real estate market. Currently, we have no reason to suspect the hearings will immediately produce any significant change in leadership in our country. Even if something significant does happen, we should expect that other factors — like the recent mortgage rate trends and the trade war with China — will have a greater impact on the housing market.

Estate surveyors canvass PPP model in housing devt to catalyse job creation

Housing sector professionals under the aegis of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NISEV), have canvassed Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in housing development as catalyst for job creation and economic fortification.

The estate surveyors who made their case during a Road Show that took them to the office of the Lagos State governor as part of activities marking this year’s United Nations World Habitat Day, presented to the governor their ‘Roadmap to Housing for All’—a compendium of communiqués of the institution’s annual national housing summits.

The United Nations has set aside the first Monday of every October, essentially, to draw global attention to the state of housing in towns, cities and communities as well as on the basic right of all to adequate shelter.

Rowland Abonta, the president of NIESV, said the annual NIESV Housing Summit has contributed immensely to the national housing discourse, by awakening the consciousness of the government and general public to the all-important aspect of housing to national life.

The annual summit, he said, served as a key machinery for driving the vision and priorities of NIESV as a professional association, and also to serve as the window to the nation and the world in offering advocacy on housing, creating awareness through sensitization of government and the general public on the importance of affordable housing delivery.

Represented by Chika Okafor, chairman NIESV Housing Faculty, Abonta opined that the NIESV presented some recommendations as actionable strategies for all tiers of government to make affordable housing available to all citizens of Nigeria.

The institution, in its eight (8) point recommendations, has urged government to be more committed to affordable housing delivery as its core social responsibility to all Nigerians by utilising housing as a catalyst for economic development.

“Housing should also be used for arresting urban decay through effective delivery strategies,” the president said, advising that the government should engage professionals in the housing delivery value chain such as the estate surveyors and valuers.

He advise further that government should reduce housing cost through modern techniques and construction materials; build a robust mortgage system with single digit interest rate regime and tame crime challenges through city regeneration.

Emma Okas Wike, the first vice president of NIESV, said professionals in the built environment were willing to explore collaborations and constructive engagements with government, stakeholders and key industry players.

“We are ready to promote perspectives on housing delivery, housing finance, housing models and housing affordability within a conducive and congenial framework that facilitates progress in the housing industry and its delivery process,” he assured.

According to him, NIESV is to provide a forum and knowledge centre for capacity building towards professionalism and specialization in the core area of housing, especially among students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

“We can encourage research into the varying, broad ramifications of housing as a generic core subject/curriculum of national importance,” he said.

Source: Businessdayng

Architects call for investigation into collapse of buildings in Abia

The Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) and Architect Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) have called on Abia Government to investigate the causes of collapsed buildings in the state.

The Abia Chapters of NIA and ARCON jointly made the call in Aba, during their fact-finding mission to the sites of recent collapsed buildings in the state on Saturday.

The associations spoke through the state chairman of NIA, Mr Ikechi Ochulo and Mr Dan Nwnkwo, representative of ARCON.

Click here to learn more about Abuja International Housing Show

Ochulo said that the call was necessitated by the spate of building collapses recently recorded in Aba, which claimed some lives and injured others.

He said that the fact-finding mission had taken the associations to the Town Planning Authorities of Aba South, Aba North and Osisioma Local Government Areas.

He said the mission was aimed at ascertaining the authenticity of the architects involved in the collapsed building and how they got their building approvals.

Ochulo urged the state government to investigate the development and give punishments to builders who cut corners during construction.

He expressed concern over activities of quacks in the state and wondered how they succeed claiming to be architects, getting their drawings approved by Town Planning Authorities without licence and seal of approval as stipulated by the law governing the profession.

“We have a situation of when collapses happen in this state, no panel, no investigation takes place.

“On the part of government, no panel of investigation is set up for culprits to be brought to book so that others will learn.

“That’s why we plead with the government not to sweep these recent incidents under the carpet like the previous ones. Things must be done properly to help everyone.

“We have procedures for checkmating this evil. ARCON has made provisions that before Town Planners approve any drawing, they must see the seal of a registered and licenced architect.

“There’s a security stamp we put on the drawing of every true professional architect, “he said.

He, however, regretted that the drawings of the collapsed buildings which they saw at the Town Planning Office had none of all these things.

“This tells you where the problems are coming from. These are part of the things we are seeing that make us call for serious synergy between us and the Town Planning Authorities.

“The presence of these quacks is a great problem to our profession and the society and when there is a problem like this and we continue with it, we stand the chance of a greater loss ” he said.

Chief Dan Nwankwo who spoke for ARCON said the problem in Abia and the nation at large, was failure of thepeople to engage professionals.

“So, we are urging the people of this state to form the habit of using professional architects and engineers in their projects.

“If they do that, there will be no collapse. Over and above that, they should also accept the advice of these professionals during construction so that the building will stand the test of time”, he said.

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